Considerations for Dog-Loving Anglers When Fly Fishing This Fall
It’s tough to say whether or not dogs make good fishing buddies. On the one hand, it makes sense to ‘catch two fish with one cast’ by engaging in your favorite hobby while spending quality time with your furry best friend. However, an inexperienced dog or neglectful owner can throw a dark cloud over the entire experience.
At AvidMax, we believe a day outdoors is exponentially more fulfilling when spent with our four-legged friends. That’s why we don’t take the subject lightly. Proper training and preparedness are both essential to enjoying a day on the water with Fido. Out of respect to other anglers, the environment, and the trout you’re after, we suggest taking the following tips into account before heading out for a day on the river.
Train Your Dog Ahead of Time
Casting (without a fly or with a practice rod) in your backyard is the best way to teach your dog good behavior when the stakes are low. Not to mention, you’ll get extra practice in for next time you’re on the river. We also recommend training your dog using non-verbal commands so that fish won’t be as easily spooked by your instructions to ‘sit’ or ‘stay.’
One of the most important times to have your dog under control will be when reeling in a fish. Trying to catch and release without a restrained dog could result in unintended casualties – not to mention a mess caused by your dog getting tangled in the line, and nobody wants that!
Know Your Dog
Does your dog always come when called? If so, great. If not, you’ll need to keep him or her on a leash and choose fishing holes without other anglers. Other things to consider include whether your dog is friendly to animals, if he or she requires exercise before being willing to sit patiently, and how your dog reacts to inclement weather such as thunder and lightening. Taking walks together in the woods without your fishing gear is a great way to assess your dog’s behavior in a natural environment. Make sure to practice hand signals and observe how he or she reacts to wildlife and passers-by on and off the trail.
Rattlesnakes, fast rapids, and open fly boxes all present dangers to your pooch. Prevent expensive vet bills by properly storing your flies, avoiding raging water, and paying attention to your surroundings. If you’re wade fishing in fast-moving water, make sure your dog is trained well enough to stay on the bank when told.
Outfit your four-legged friend with a life jacket as an extra safety precaution. Our K-9 Float Coat comes with a gripping handle in case you need to pick your dog up from the water. Dog Fleeces will help keep your furry friend warm in the winter, and a portable bowl provides hydration without the risk of your hound spooking a rising fish.
Use Common Sense
Pick up your dog’s waste and properly dispose of it rather than leaving your trash for someone else to pick up. If there’s a leash law at a park, keep your dog on a leash. The more time your dog spends fly fishing with you, the more acclimated it’ll be – and the more fun both of you will have.